PHUTATORIUSHere's how: you put scanners into the shopping carts.
Customer comes to the store, get a cart with a built-in scanner. He wanders the aisles, fills up his cart — and every time he drops something in, he scans it first. His bill is instantly totaled by the time he's done shopping. Shopper swipes a credit card — that could be built into the cart, too — and he's paid and can go straight out to his car. Done. Easy. Brilliant.
Oh, sure, the tabloid publishers won't like it: their marketing model depends on people standing, bored, in a checkout line. You could expect to see a number of front page stories in the Weekly World News and National Enquirer: Shopping Cart Scanner Explodes, Mauls Family of Four. But I'll take those bastards on.
What store in its right mind would do this, Phutatorius? Who's gonna stick expensive electronic equipment on grocery carts that sit out in the rain and snow and get bashed around in the parking lot? A fair point: how about the scanner snaps onto the bars of the grocery cart? How about you pick one up at the door, and you return it on your way out? Huh? Huh? POW! You have questions — I've got answers.
What about bagging? you ask. Bag as you go, people. It's real easy, and I know you all can do it. Sing along with me now, to the tune of "Shortnin' Bread":
Scan and bag it as you go,
scan and bag,
take a number, talk to Deli Man,
scan and bag.
Scan-as-you-go is the wave of the future, Brothers and Sisters, and you read it first here at FO.